Ms. Esta G. Soler

President & Founder
San Francisco, California
United States

Focus Areas

Public Health & Safety
Finance / Fundraising / Administration
Social Justice
Gender-Based Violence
Youth Development
Youth Development


One of the world’s foremost experts on violence against women and children, Esta Soler is a pioneer who founded the Family Violence Prevention Fund (FVPF) nearly 30 years ago and made it one of the world’s leading violence prevention agencies. With offices in San Francisco, Boston and Washington, D.C., and partners around the world, the FVPF develops innovative strategies to prevent domestic, dating and sexual violence, stalking and child abuse. Under Soler’s direction, the FVPF was a driving force behind passage of the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 – the nation’s first comprehensive federal response to the violence that plagues our families and communities. Congress reauthorized and expanded the law in 2000 and again in 2005. She is leading the effort to pass the International Violence Against Women Act. Soler has led the FVPF as it developed trailblazing public education campaigns that have reached millions of people, and innovative policies, advocacy, prevention, education and training programs that help lawmakers, health care providers, judges, employers and others stop violence and help victims. FVPF programs have been replicated in all 50 states and around the world. Funded by some of the nation’s leading philanthropies and corporations, recent FVPF initiatives include the “Coaching Boys Into Men,” “Give RESPECT” and “That’s Not Cool” campaigns, which are breaking new ground by inviting men to teach boys that violence against women and children is always wrong, promoting respect in relationships, and helping teens safely navigate new technologies. Soler is a trustee for the Blue Shield of California Foundation, and serves on the board of The Lick-Wilmerding High School in San Francisco. She has been a consultant and advisor to numerous public and private agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Soros Justice Fellowship Program, the Ford Foundation/Harvard University Innovations in American Government initiative, and the Aspen Institute. She was a member of the Violence Against Women National Advisory Council when it was co-chaired by Health & Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala and Attorney General Janet Reno. Among Soler’s many awards are a Kellogg Foundation National Leadership Fellowship in 1990, the Koret Israel Prize in 1995, and the University of California, Public Health Heroes Award in 1998. In 2004, the Center for the Advancement of Women honored her for advancing the power of women worldwide. She has been honored by the Asian Women’s Shelter, California Governor’s Office and Women in Communications, among others. Her 2006 and 2007 awards include an honorary doctorate from Simmons College, a Leadership Award from the Coro Center for Civic Leadership, the Mathew O. Tobriner Public Service Award for pioneering work on behalf of women and children from the Employment Law Center in San Francisco, honors from the Institute on Domestic Violence in the African American Community, and the Humanitarian Award from Peace Over Violence. Her work has resulted in the FVPF winning awards from the Sara Lee Foundation and the State Justice Institute, among others. Soler is co-author of Ending Domestic Violence: Changing Public Perceptions/Halting the Epidemic. She has one daughter, Marjorie.